The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette makes the argument that no type of cake is as American as chiffon.
The chiffon cake was created in California by Harry Baker, an insurance salesman whose hobby was baking. He is credited to have created the first chiffon cake in 1927 using vegetable oil.
Cake expert Anne Byrn says that it changed how America baked. Byrn has written the best-selling, “The Cake Mix Doctor,” and the sequels, “Chocolate From the Cake Mix Doctor”; “The Dinner Doctor” and “Cupcakes From the Cake Mix Doctor.”
Instead of butter, the chiffon cake uses vegetable oil for moistness and relies on beaten egg whites for volume and lightness, Ms. Byrn writes in her upcoming cookbook, “American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Story Behind Our Best-Loved Cakes From Past to Present."
The chiffon cake is quintessential American, Ms. Byrn claims, unlike the gingerbread cake that came with the settlers, the sponge cake that had roots in England and France, the pound cake that originated in England, and the angel food and crumb coffee cakes that immigrated with the Pennsylvania Dutch.